Trump attacks Mitch McConnell: But does it matter for the GOP?
Mitch McConnell Is Under Attack: But what do Republicans think?
Trump has been known for his numerous attacks on government officials that he does not like. Much like with his attacks on Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and various Republicans who have voted against the ACA. He’s been attacking Mitch McConnell as to what he sees the problem with what’s going on with Washington. Trump told reporters at a briefing on his vacation,
“I just want him to get repeal and replace done. I’ve been hearing repeal and replace now for seven years … Mitch, get to work and let’s get it done,” Trump told reporters at a briefing on his vacation. “I just want him to get repeal and replace done. I’ve been hearing repeal and replace now for seven years … Mitch, get to work and let’s get it done,”
To make matters worse, Politico’s White House correspondent Tara Palmeri said that General Kelly, the new Chief of Staff has already accepted that he will not be able to control Trump’s tweets following his tweetstorm on the week of August 7th. Where does this leave us? On Twitter, on August 9th, Trump began attacking Mitch McConnell
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
While establishment Republicans such as Newt Gingrich are in favor of Mitch McConnell staying as the leader of the Senate and say that Trump went too far, conservative activists have felt like they’ve been betrayed. Trump has been elected on a platform that for the past 7 years has been advocating the repeal and replace of Obamacare, or, just straight-out repeal.
“The overarching theme from coast to coast was that people wanted to take a wrecking ball to Washington and they were hopeful that Donald Trump would be elected and would be that wrecking ball,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.
Trump also tends to contradict himself, while he’s attacking Mitch McConnell for being too much like an establishment figure, he’s supporting someone who Mitch McConnell is backing in Alabama. John Feehery, a veteran GOP CEO consultant says that Trump is doing one thing and saying another. He’s backed Luther Strange (R) in a race in Alabama whom Mitch McConnell has also backed, saying that he’s going to be different than Mitch McConnell, when he’s probably not going to be different.
However, while establishment Republicans may represent the mainstream of the Republican party today — a closer look at the core suggests otherwise. A Gallup article, Mitch McConnell’s Favorables Down Among Republicans, suggests that Mitch McConnell’s approval ratings are far more unpopular than Trump. They’ve dropped 19 points since April. In April 2017 it was at 49%. Amongst GOP members only in the current poll, it’s 33% and among Republican leaning voters it’s at 40%. Nearly 47% of Americans view Mitch McConnell unfavorably, however, Gallup also had another poll that showed other Congressional leaders as being less favorably viewed as well including Nancy Pelosi with having more negative than positive coverage.
Trump has an 80% approval rating among Republicans and Republican-leading voters whereas Mitch McConnell has a much lower approval rating. In terms of how the party matters, Trump will win over Mitch McConnell. In a different situation — John McCain has a higher reputation than Mitch McConnell at this point. His reputation in his own party is lesser because of the ObamaCare repeal no-vote, but it’s risen amongst Democrats. Because Mitch McConnell proceeded with the health-care vote the way he did, and because conservative activists don’t see too much positive about him either, it’s going to be hard for him to pull out of this one with political capital.